I just watched the incredibly heartwarming Netflix TV series, Heartstopper.  It focuses on the relationship between two teenaged high school students in England who are grappling with their sexuality.  Charlie is a nerdy guy who had come out as gay and Nick is the star of the rugby team who comes to realize that he isn’t straight.
Of course, teenage years are challenging for most people.  This series dramatizes additional challenges that people face when they recognize that their sexualities that don’t fit the heterosexual norm.  The characters and interactions feel incredibly realistic.
As a bonus, the wonderful Olivia
Continue Reading A Heartwarming TV Series

My recent piece about introversion seems to have struck a nerve.  It stimulated the most – and most intense – reactions to any of my posts.  Several people emphatically identified with it, saying that they felt that it was about them.

I’m sure a lot of other readers felt that way too.

Introversion is a mostly invisible part of people’s identities. We are pretty aware of many aspects of our identities such as our physical and demographic characteristics, relationships, religious and political perspectives, liking certain sports teams or performers, etc.

But many people who feel introverted have only a vague
Continue Reading Coming out as introverted – even as a lawyer

That’s the title of an article in the New York Times.
It reports that “[s]ame-sex couples, on average, resolve conflict more constructively than different-sex couples, and with less animosity, studies have shown.”
It cites researchers suggesting ideas that our field generally recommends including:

  • Using humor to defuse anger
  • Staying calm
  • Being mindful of the other’s emotional needs
  • Striving for equality in the relationship
  • Recognizing and appreciating differences

The Times also has an interesting piece by a straight woman about the end of her different-sex marriage:  “Can a Good-Enough Marriage Make for a Great Divorce? In continuing to share
Continue Reading Gay Couples Can Teach Straight People a Thing or Two About Arguing

From the New York Times, a fascinating article about “prison consultants” and how they can help people heading to prison with sentencing for white collar convictions.
You’d think that the lawyer would be helping the client with sentencing. But that’s not always how things work, according to author Jack Hitt. “A lawyer is your legal guide to staying out of prison,” Hitt writes, “but once that becomes inevitable, a prison consultant is there to chaperone you through the bureaucracies that will eventually land you in your new home, easing your entry into incarceration — and sometimes even returning you to
Continue Reading Negotiating Prison

Do you often feel introverted, generally preferring to be in a small group of trusted friends than in a large gathering, for example?
It turns out that there a lot of people who feel that way.
Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, cites studies indicating that a third to a half of the American population is introverted.
Perhaps surprisingly, even larger proportions of law students and lawyers may be introverted.  I suspect that an even larger proportion of law professors feel that way, with an even higher proportion faculty teaching
Continue Reading Introversion, the Legal Profession, and Dispute Resolution

The ABA has published three books by Brooklyn Law Professor and Director of Legal Writing Heidi K. Brown to help law students and lawyers improve their well-being and function optimally.
It just released The Flourishing Lawyer: A Multi-Dimensional Approach to Performance and Well-Being (2022).  She previously published The Introverted Lawyer: A Seven-Step Journey Toward Authentically Empowered Advocacy (2017), and Untangling Fear in Lawyering: A Four-Step Journey Toward Powerful Advocacy (2019).
The Introverted Lawyer and Untangling Fear books focus on problems people experience and include advice for dealing with them.  The Flourishing Lawyer book focuses directly on self-improvement.  All three books
Continue Reading Heidi Brown’s Books Promoting Flourishing and Effective Practitioners

We all live, and we all will die some day.
For most of our lives, our deaths seem like they will happen at some unknown time far in the future.
Not so for Australian writer Cory Taylor when she died of cancer at age 61.  In the last few weeks of her life, she produced a beautifully written book, Dying: A Memoir.  I recommend the audio version, which is narrated by an Australian with a lovely accent.
This is the latest installment in my What I’m Reading series.
Mr. Taylor described her sometimes frustrating experiences with health care providers
Continue Reading Living, Dying, and Life After Death

HBO recently presented a great two-part documentary, George Carlin’s American Dream.  He started as a conventional, clean-cut comic in the 1960s, and evolved into a counterculture icon in the 1970s.  He continued performing until shortly before his death in 2008.
This post is another in my What I’m Reading series.
Mr. Carlin really came to fame for his routine, “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” which he first performed in 1972.  (FYI, the offending words are “shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits.”)  He was arrested seven times for performing it, but the big
Continue Reading HBO Documentary on Social Critic George Carlin

This is a belated announcement of this year’s ABA Dispute Resolution Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work given to Stacie Strong.  She now teaches at the University of Sydney Law School, where she is the co-director of the Sydney Centre for International Law.  In her remarks accepting the award, she generously credited help from colleagues at … Continue reading Stacie Strong Receives ABA Dispute Resolution Section Scholarship Award →
Continue Reading Stacie Strong Receives ABA Dispute Resolution Section Scholarship Award

We don’t post a lot of scholarship updates here as there are many better outlets for that, but once and a while something comes out that catches our attention – such as this.  Excellent empiricists Jessica Bregant (Houston), Jennifer Robbennolt (Illinois), and Verity Winship (Illinois) have a very interesting paper up on SSRN titled Perceptions … Continue reading Bregant, Robbennolt, and Winship – Perceptions on Settlement →
Continue Reading Bregant, Robbennolt, and Winship – Perceptions on Settlement

News broke earlier this week that another ADR law school dean has been appointed.  Brian Pappas – Fulbright Scholar, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs at Eastern Michigan, incoming ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Chair, and former law faculty at Michigan State – is coming back to legal academia to be Dean at the University of North Dakota School of Law.  Here are the details.
Big congratulations to Brian and to North Dakota Law !
Continue Reading Pappas named Dean at North Dakota

Andrea and I – along with a team of 4 non-law faculty researchers – are planning a longitudinal study of changes in negotiation behaviors in law students over the course of their three years.  And we need your help!  We are looking for law faculty partners who would administer the survey instrument at their schools to aid in data collection.
The fine print is that our faculty partners will have to do the following:

  • Get the administration of your law school to sign on to this 3 year project,
  • Provide the IRB of your school with the IRB approval we


Continue Reading Longitudinal Study of Changes in Law Student Negotiation Behaviors

The pandemic obviously has changed the way we interact with friends, as described by executive coach Brad Stulberg in his NYT essay, One Part of Your Life You Shouldn’t Optimize.
He says that we necessarily went into isolation during the pandemic and that we may need to make a conscious effort to come out of our shells as the pandemic recedes.  He encourages people to do so, arguing that our personal relationships are important parts of our lives.
This post is part of a series about “new normals” evolving due to the pandemic.
Here are excerpts from Mr.
Continue Reading Evolving New Normals of Social Relationships

Santa Clara University Acting President and Santa Clara Law Dean Emerita Lisa Kloppenberg recently published her new book “The Best Beloved Thing is Justice: The Life of Dorothy Wright Nelson” (Oxford University Press). See https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-best-beloved-thing-is-justice-9780197608579?cc=us&lang=en. Judge Nelson blazed a trail for women in the legal profession – becoming one of the first female law professors and law school deans and a distinguished jurist on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Judge Nelson also made enormous contributions to the alternative conflict resolution movement.On Monday April 25, 2022, at 12:00-1:00 PM PDT, the Santa Clara Law–Stanford Law Conflict
Continue Reading Santa Clara Law–Stanford Law Conflict Resolution Workshop Presents Lisa Kloppenberg’s New Book on Judge Dorothy Nelson

In 2018, I wrote a post, Make Video History, describing my experiences creating videos – especially oral history videos – and encouraging others to do so.  (In those quaint old days, I included a link to zoom, figuring that most people weren’t familiar with it.)
In the 1980s, I conducted oral history interviews of my parents on video.  They were about 70, and I didn’t know how long they would live.  I made these interviews with younger relatives in mind because they wouldn’t be understand my parents’ stories at that time but might be interested when they were older.
Continue Reading Making Video History, Revisited